In late October of 2010, PFC Matthew Permar, along with the rest of his unit, 2nd Battalion, of the 4th Regiment, 4th Combat Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, began their long journey from Ft. Polk, LA to Afghanistan. Their civilian contracted airline made its first stop in Bangor AFB, Maine; then on to Sophia, Bulgaria; finally landing in Manas, Kyrgyastan. In Manas, after being issued plates for their body armor, 2nd Battalion soldiers boarded an Air Force C-17 for the flight to FOB (Forward Operating Base) Shank, about 50 miles south of Afghanistan’s capitol city, Kabul. The landing at FOB Shank was delayed because the base was then under mortar attack. In one bizarre incident, a mortar round landed on a soldier’s foot. Fortunately it was a dud and he survived. The base was mortared again on the following day during evening chow, and Permar was struck by how little warning the incoming rounds gave, no great whistling sound like in the movies. After the stress of the long flight, he slept through the mortar attack on the third day.